Route 23 Corridor: A Variety of Dining Experiences Awaits

The Route 23 corridor from Leola to New Holland and beyond offers diverse and fun dining experiences. Choosing from the variety of restaurants is not easy, but here’s a small sampling.

Funck’s Restaurant & Bar, Leola

Funck’s not only has a wide variety of menu items, but there’s also an amazing beer wall that is outfitted with over 100 taps. Handcrafted cocktails, wine and other beverages are available, as well. Menu items include appetizers (such as wings and cheesesteak eggrolls), soups, salads, sandwiches (including Nashville Hot chicken and brisket melt), tacos (featuring seafood and lobster), burgers and entrées such as Jameson whiskey mac & cheese and stuffed meatloaf. Mouth-watering desserts also await.  

In addition to great food and beverages, Funck’s has a warm, inviting atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor dining, as well as an indoor/outdoor bar area. Perhaps the most popular space is the patio, as it offers lush greenery, tiki torches and fire bowls, as well as patio heaters for the shoulder months and igloos for cold weather. Information: Funcks.com. 

Gracie’s on West Main, Leola

Gracie’s focuses on “scratch-made food” that’s made in-house including cookies, jams, dressings and sauces. The family-owned restaurant’s aim is to create a welcoming atmosphere for its guests. They have obviously succeeded – there’s often a wait for breakfast on the weekends … but it’s so worth it!  Part of Gracie’s charm is the warm, cozy ambience of each of the dining areas. Seating in some of the dining areas includes wooden bench-type banquettes along the walls, and yes, they’re really comfortable. One of the restaurant’s hallmarks is its fanciful chalk boards that are filled with artwork and uplifting sayings. 

Menu-wise, Gracie’s is known for its wide selection, but perhaps it’s best known for its bacon menu featuring various types, including Irish and caramelized. Bacon can also be found in other menu items including bacon-jam grilled cheese, triple bacon B.L.T. and caramel burger. Specials are offered, as are soups, salads and fries (including pulled-pork fries). Don’t leave without having dessert! Information: Gracieslancaster.com. 

Fox Meadows Creamery, Leola

Fox Meadows brought its cow-to-cone goodness to Leola two years ago. It may be hard to beat the views of the Fox family’s dairy operation at the Ephrata farmstead location, but this second location has a vibe of its own. The two locations are similar in that both have a country market that features locally made products. Both also offer hand-made waffle cones and bowls, but in Leola, the operation is located out front just before the ice cream cases, which provides guests waiting in line with a “maker moment.” There’s also an outdoor children’s play area at both locations. However, Leola has seating in the main level as well as a mezzanine area that opens onto a spacious outdoor deck that’s partly covered. The covered deck is a great space to enjoy lunch or ice cream treats in a drizzle (and I can say that from first-hand experience!).

Ice cream is made at both locations, and there’s a wide variety of year-round flavors, some of which are unique combinations (such as honeyed lavender). Some favors, such as lemon lush and red velvet cream cheese, are seasonal or “featured” flavors. It’s hard to pick just one flavor favorite – I usually have two scoops in a waffle cone, with one of the scoops always being brown butter almond brickle. Fox Meadows offers shakes, floats, frappes and other treats including the signature Baked Fox (a hot-pressed outer shell that could be a brownie, chocolate chip cookie or seasonal offering with a scoop of ice cream in the center). It truly is an ice cream treat! Ice cream isn’t the only item on the menu – Fox Meadows also has lunch offerings. Information: Foxmeadowscreamery.com.

Lickity Split Restaurant, New Holland 

Lickety Split photo, Facebook

Enjoy a “blast from the past” with Lickity Split’s fun, ice cream parlor style that offers seating at a counter in front of the expansive front window, as well as at tables and booths for enjoying lunch, dinner or ice cream. 

Menu items include appetizers such as pretzel nuggets, salads (with or without proteins like grilled chicken, buffalo chicken, turkey or chicken salad), soups (including the signature creamy dill pickle) made in-house with locally sourced ingredients, wraps and grilled sandwiches. Several of the sandwiches have names reflecting the local community – street names, defunct newspapers, as well as a Kauffman’s Cuban, which reflects the fact that Lickity Split is housed in part of the former (and historic) Kauffman’s Hardware building. In true ice cream parlor style, there are some fun beverages – including one of my childhood favorites, a Shirley Temple – as well as Italian soda.        

The dessert menu is filled with tempting ice cream treats. In addition to milkshakes, ice cream floats, scoops (including a petite scoop for kids or adults who want a bit of ice cream but don’t want to overindulge) and sundaes. Those who can’t decide what flavor to choose can order a flight of four small dishes of ice cream. Specialties also include a waffle and ice cream sandwich (a wonderful reminder of a treat that can sometimes be found at local fairs). Information: Lickitysplit.info. 

Shady Maple Smorgasbord, East Earl 

Shady Maple’s smorgasbord is 200-feet of Pennsylvania Dutch goodness. Breakfast, lunch and dinner items are available on the sumptuous buffet and grill stations during specific times, and there’s an early bird lunch special on Saturdays. Shady Maple guests can celebrate their birthday with a free meal with the purchase of an adult smorgasbord (see website for details).

Breakfast items include omelets and pancakes prepared to order on the grill as well as bacon, waffles, oatmeal, scrapple, fruit and baked goods. Lunch items include carved smoked beef brisket, a salad bar (with 46 items including real bacon bits), soups, homemade breads and rolls, cheeses, meats, 14 vegetables/sides (including brown buttered noodles), pies, cakes and hot desserts (such as apple crisp) and a sundae bar. Dinner offerings include buffet items as well as daily features and grill specials. 

Seating is available at booths or tables. While you’re waiting to be seated or after your meal, be sure to check out Shady Maple’s collection of Aaron and Abner Zook 3-D paintings that are on display throughout the main level of the restaurant. The expansive gift shop on the lower level is also worth a look. Information: Shady-maple.com. 

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